Monday, December 7, 2015

Trusting the Process

I know I haven't updated in a while, but I have been taking classes.  It's been a couple of weeks where classes have seemed routine with no ground breaking realizations or shocking improvements,  just trundling along.  I once described it as "the classes in between."

But in class this past week, there were a few moments where I noticed little things that have definitely changed.  Like in grand battement à la seconde.  My left has always been high and now is approaching 180, but my right was always lower.  Same with développé (although I'm not near 180 on my left for this, I just mean my left is much higher than my right).  But this week, my I noticed my right is rapidly catching up, and my extensions just look better in general!  And the funny thing is, I really wasn't trying or thinking about high legs.  I've been focusing more on holding my standing side and rotation in both legs and not the height at all lately, and it just sort of happened.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that the bane of my existence has been petit allegro.  I wish I could say that I am now brilliant at petit allegro, but sadly, this post isn't about that.  It's more like, in class this week, during petit allegro, I found myself thinking, "Oh, I think I'm doing it!"  And I was.  Not beautifully, or even that competently, but I knew what was happening and wasn't completely flailing and tripping over my feet.  Of course they were all very basic combinations along the glissade, jeté, glissade assemblé variety, and again, it was much more of a feeling of comfort than  brilliance.  Pirouettes also felt this way this week.  No, I did not finally figure them out, but they feel familiar now, and once in a while they work out.

To me, it's very heartening that the process works.  Going to class regularly and doing the routine does give results!  Even when you don't think it is working!  I had previously described some classes as a drop of water in a bucket that you initially don't notice, but right now I'm thinking of it as a planted seed.  It might seem that giving it nourishment isn't having any effect, but secretly it is spreading roots underground.  Making a foundation for sprouting and growing, perhaps even one day flowering and bearing fruit.

Trust the process.


  1. That's very reassuring to hear, especially about the petit allegro part.
    As for flexibility, I took your advice (stretching the least flexible side first, and/or twice), and it's been really showing results, at least as far as my front splits progress. So thanks!

    1. I'm glad it's working! I'll pass on any other tips from my flexibility coach as I get them, or maybe even do a post when I'm not lazy. I'm finding flexibility can improve very readily with proper technique.

  2. Petit allegro anxiety is a very real thing (just like pirouette anxiety) but it sounds like you're approaching it the right way. Break it all down into manageable chunks and then practice consistently. The goal is to build a toolbox you can dip into when you need to fix something rather than cross your fingers and hope for the best! At least that's what I teach. :) Cheers!

    1. Thanks for the comment Leigh! Manageable chunks to practice is a good way to think about it. One of the best things I ever read is that every problem you have in center can be traced backed to something at the barre, so I'm also trying to trace and fix those problems. (This is why the ballet process / pedagogy is so amazing to me; everything has a reason!)

      But I do think you are also right about part of it being anxiety/mental. One of my teachers this week was like, you are perfectly placed for your passe releves and even half turns, but then when you have to do a whole turn you get all...weird and twisty.